CLEARFIELD – The two day retrial of a man accused of raping a boy over 10 years ago began on Thursday, with the accused taking the stand.
Christopher Pusey of Osceola Mills is charged with rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, statutory sexual assault and indecent assault.
The trial began with the testimony of the alleged victim in the case, now 18. He stated that he believed the incident occurred in the summer of 1995.
The commonwealth alleges that the incidents occurred between the summer of 1996-1998. Pentz questioned the young man about when the incident allegedly occurred as well as how old he was when it allegedly occurred. The young man said he was between 5-7 years-old. The timeframe was narrowed down even more to him being 5-years-old.
Shaw explained to the jury later on that while the boy was five years old, he was not five in the summer of 1995, but in the summer of 1996.
The young man continued and related that he was riding his bike when he decided to visit Pusey. He said that Pusey took him to his room and tried to pull his pants down. He told the jury that he said no and that Pusey told him it was OK and pulled his pants down. He said the same thing happened when Pusey took his underwear off.
He stated that Pusey briefly penetrated him.
“I started to cry,” said the young man. “He said it would be okay.”
He said the incident occurred in under a minute.
He continued, stating that Pusey let him play Pusey’s Gameboy.
He said that he did not tell anyone about the incident until he was 14. He said that while at church camp he told his girlfriend, then his pastor. He eventually told another person who helped him tell his parents, then the police.
Cpl. Jeffrey Lee of the state police was next to take the stand. He testified that on Sept. 7, 2007 he interviewed Pusey at the request of Tpr. William Mostyn. Lee said they briefly discussed the allegations and that Pusey said he hoped it would help him remember. He said he asked him if he did what the allegations alleged. He said Pusey denied sexual contact with the alleged victim.
Lee said the interview continued and that he eventually told him he placed his penis between the alleged victim’s thighs and moved him back and forth. Lee said Pusey told him that during this time he penetrated the alleged victim. Lee said that Pusey told him he regretted it and apologized.
Lee then had Pusey complete a written statement about what had occurred. He read that statement aloud. Pusey wrote in his statement that about 10 years ago, sometime in the summer, the alleged victim stopped by, said hi and asked to use the bathroom. He wrote that he let the boy in and that he waited for him in his bedroom. He commented on hearing the toilet flush and the door creak. He wrote that he was sitting on the bottom bunk and that the boy joined him. They talked. He noticed the boy had spotted his Gameboy. He wrote that the boy picked it up and asked if he could play with it. He wrote that he got behind the boy and began to rub his shoulders.
“I wanted to share a feeling with him,” Pusey wrote. He continued, writing that he did not know what the feeling was, but he acted on it.
He wrote later in his statement that he put his penis between the boy’s thighs after undressing him and moved him back and forth. He wrote that during this time he partially penetrated the boy. He noted that the boy cried and that he immediately stopped. He also noted in his statement the incident was about a minute long.
Shaw asked Lee about that phrase in the statement. Lee said it was written differently than the rest of the statement, all in caps with different spacing and an exclamation point.
Prior to that question, Lee read that Pusey wrote that he hugged the boy to try to calm him down.
Pentz questioned Lee as to whether anything in Pusey’s statement might contradict or be inconsistent with a recollection of 10 years prior. Lee said there was not.
Mostyn then testified. He said he spoke with Pusey on Aug. 1, 2007 when Pusey called him asking him what was going on. He said Pusey had heard there were allegations. He said he arranged to meet with Pusey and did so on Aug. 6, 2007.
“We discussed what allegedly occurred,” said Mostyn.
Mostyn mentioned that Pusey mentioned something about the young man thinking it was a dream, a topic that came to light later in the trial.
He said that Pusey told him that it’s possible something occurred, that he couldn’t remember. He said Pusey told him that he gets the feeling that something happened, but that the more he thinks about it, it couldn’t have.
“He was conflicted,” said Mostyn, who noted that Pusey never openly admitted to it.
Mostyn said that toward the end of the interview Pusey denied it.
“Did he adamantly deny the charges,” Shaw asked Mostyn.
Mostyn said he was not sure he could say that Pusey adamantly denied the charges. He noted again that Pusey seemed conflicted and that he ultimately denied it happening.
When the commonwealth rested their case Pentz called Pusey to the stand.
Pusey was asked about what happened when he went to meet with Lee at the PSP barracks in Clearfield. He said Lee explained the process to him and that they were going to go step-by-step. He said they eventually got to the alleged vicitm’s report and that he was asked questions from that.
He said he was given a pen and paper and asked to provide a written statement about what they had discussed in detail. He said it was written in first person and that he was told to write it as though it came from him. He told the jury he just thought it was part of the interview, part of the investigation. He indicated that he did not think he was admitting to crimes, he just thought it was part of the interview.
He said that when he was done writing the statement he was told the interview was done. He also said the non-custodial form he filled out was given to him after he wrote his statement, not before.
“Is the statement you made correct,” asked Pentz. Pusey said yes.
“Is it factually correct,” Pentz asked him. Pusey said no.
“I was just doing what I was told,” said Pusey. He said that if he knew he was writing a confession, he could not have given the statement.
Shaw asked Pusey about his statement during his cross-examination.
“Prior to writing the statement you told him (Lee) you placed your penis in (alleged victim’s) butt.”
“I never verbally told him that,” said Pusey. “I said no to that question.”
Shaw asked Pusey if it was his writing in the statement. He said it was. Shaw asked him about the statement he made regarding a portion of his penis or the tip of his penis entering the alleged victim’s anus.
“It’s possible it could have happened,” said Pusey. He further related that by saying its possible it happened did not mean it happened.
“It’s possible if this matter had occurred,” said Pusey.
Pentz asked Pusey if he had doubted himself. Pusey related that because everyone was talking about him allegedly committing the crime, he began to doubt himself.
“Thinking about it now, I know it didn’t happen,” said Pusey.
Also taking the stand was the man who helped the young man break the alleged incident to his parents. He said the young man gave him a note telling him about what happened. He said from there they talked about it. He said the young man told him he came to terms with the reality of the incident after hearing a speaker at youth camp talking about a similar incident.
Pentz then called Mostyn back to the stand. Mostyn testified that he talked to the man the young man gave the note to. He said the man told him that the young man told him that he thought the incident was a dream but he realized it happened and came to terms with it. Shaw asked Mostyn about the statement as well. Mostyn related that in essence it was a second person account.
Lee was called to the stand as a rebuttal witness by Shaw to explain the non-custodial form and the written statement.
That wrapped up the testimony for the trial, which was scheduled for two days. Judge Paul E. Cherry called it a day after that. He will charge the jury Friday morning before they begin deliberating.